Technological advancements are essential to economic growth and development and aim to improve peoples’ living standards. While many technologies have military applications, very few are developed for military purposes. Emerging technologies, also called ‘disruptive technologies’, have the capability to displace an established technology and shake up the industry or introduce a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.
New technologies offer enormous opportunities for civilian as well as defence sectors, but also present new vulnerabilities and security challenges. State actors, non-state actors as well as individuals have greater prospects of exploiting many of these easily accessible technologies in inventive and disruptive ways. They also provide opportunities to smaller states to offset military asymmetry. In an endeavour to stay ahead, rapid technological advancements have, therefore, resulted in increasingly intense technological competition, gradually shifting towards rivalry between states.
Emerging Disruptive Technologies (EDTs) such as Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing, advanced materials, hypersonic weapons, biotechnologies, and robotics are likely to bring about major changes in the world in general and trigger major doctrinal and strategic shifts in the military domain in particular. In this regard, a key question, therefore, is in what ways technological advancements are likely to affect military doctrines and strategy in the future, considering the dynamic character of interdependence between technology advancement and its adaptation in military affairs. The question also gains greater significance in case of nuclear-armed adversaries with unresolved disputes, mutual distrust, and shared borders, significantly reducing reaction time.